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Council President's Statement: Azerbaijan's Assault on Artsakh

Posted on 09/19/2023

This morning’s news is proof of what many of us have long tried to warn the world:  The tyrannical dictator of Azerbaijan will resort to any degree of ruthless violence to complete his genocidal plan to erase Armenians from the Earth.

This morning, Azerbaijan’s dictator launched another outrageous, unprovoked full-scale military attack against the democratic Republic of Artsakh.  As of this morning, Azerbaijan’s forces are attacking Artsakh at every point of contact, and are bombarding apartment buildings in the capital city of Stepanakert, yet again targeting the civilian population.  Many casualties have already been reported in the first hours of this attack, including the death of at least one child and injuries to many more, and more will occur every minute if the international community does not take immediate and effective action.

Last December, Azerbaijan began a concerted ethnic cleansing campaign by illegally blockading the people of Artsakh, depriving them of food, medicine and fuel.  The blockade was roundly criticized around the world, but the perpetrator of this crime against humanity ignored the demands of the civilized world.  Since then, it has been clear to everyone paying attention that the intention of Azerbaijan’s racist dictator, Ilham Aliyev, has been to drive the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh out of the land where they have lived for thousands of years, or kill them if they don’t leave.  

The former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, recently produced an extensive report clearly stating that “genocide is already underway in Artsakh.”  Having failed to break the will of the people of Artsakh by starvation, Aliyev is now implementing his genocidal plan through military means.  He is now attempting to exterminate the people of Artsakh before our very eyes, just as he has long threatened to do, along with his threats to take over all of Armenia.  

The United States must lead the international community in taking action immediately to interrupt this genocide before it is complete.  I am calling on the President of the United States, as well as the member states of the United Nations Security Council, to demonstrate their commitment to global stability, to the law of nations, and to common decency by opposing Azerbaijan’s genocidal aggression and coming to the aid of the people of Artsakh.  That immediate and unambiguous response should include:

  • An explicit demand for an immediate end to Azeri military actions in Artsakh, to be enforced by maximum sanctions against the government in Baku.

  • Deployment of international peacekeepers to thwart Aliyev’s expansionist military aggression and to ensure that the Lachin Corridor remains open. 

  • Insistence that Azerbaijan allow safe passage of delivery of aid into Artsakh via the Lachin Corridor.

  • Immediate negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert to guarantee the rights and security of the Armenian population of Artsakh.